Skip To Content

    17 Truly Traumatizing Moments In Kids Movies That Come Out Of Nowhere To Terrify People

    The VHS box says "Rated G," but my nightmares say "Why, mom and dad?!"

    We recently asked members of our BuzzFeed Community, "What's the most unexpectedly dark scene and/or moment to ever appear in a film for kids?" Their silly-yet-scarring answers sparked even MORE great responses! Here are even more of the most traumatizing moments named:

    WARNING: Due to the nature of this post, there are some mentions of sensitive content. Please proceed with caution.

    1. The Large Marge story, Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)

    Warner Bros.

    "The movie's certainly weird from start to finish, but this moment comes out of nowhere. Absolutely terrifying."


    2. The Pleasure Island sequence, Pinocchio (1940)

    Walt Disney Studios

    "Oh, easily the part when the boys turn into donkeys. Apparently, I would watch that movie over and over as a little kid, but seeing it a little later in life was a big WTF moment. It's...disturbing, to say the least."


    3. The father's debt, A Little Princess (1995)

    Warner Bros.

    "Without giving spoilers, everything from when she has to become a servant at her school to pay her father's debts onward was so awful to watch as a kid. I remember crying every time, and I still do as an adult. It's still one of my favorite movies, though, without a doubt. Every girl should watch it."


    4. The "In the Dark of the Night" song, Anastasia (1997)

    20th Century Fox

    "Rasputin’s song comes out of NOWHERE and is a NIGHTMARE. It’s literally a song about wanting to murder a child sung by a corpse-man who's falling apart."


    5. The ghost children, Coraline (2009)

    Focus Features

    "I know this whole movie is basically a horror movie for kids, but the part when she meets the ghost children that the 'Other Mother' stole over the years is especially dark/out of nowhere. It's terrifying."


    6. Artax’s death, The NeverEnding Story (1984)

    Warner Bros.

    "I was a little girl obsessed with all things horse-related and there I was, watching this film, thinking how cool it would be to just go off on an adventure with your horse. And then the swamps. THE SWAMPS. I’m not horse-obsessed anymore, but I still can’t watch that scene because I remember how much it destroyed me to see the horse’s head sinking lower and lower..."


    7. The reveal, Witches (1990)

    Warner Bros.

    "When they peeled off their skin and revealed their true selves, that came out of nowhere. It's a pretty dark movie from the beginning — since they literally turned a kid into a mouse — but then to have them remove their wigs and skin to reveal the gross warts underneath was TOO much."


    8. Ray's death, The Princess and the Frog (2009)

    Walt Disney Studios

    "The crunching noise when Dr. Falicier squished Ray?! C'mon Disney, that's pretty messed up, even for you."


    9. The mother's death, The Land Before Time (1988)

    Universal Pictures

    "When Littlefoot’s mom dies? Ripped my heart out. Another movie I will never watch again."


    10. The freaky plant-people, The Little Mermaid (1989)

    Walt Disney Studios

    "This is never brought up on these lists, but the river of toothless mermaids and mermen in Ursula's collection are horrifying. It's so dark and a real quick moment that STILL gives me the willies."


    11. The "Toxic Love" song, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest (1992)

    20th Century Fox

    "For the longest time, Hexxus' song scared me. The movie as a whole has creepy moments, but this sequence specifically scared me. I think it had to do with initially seeing Hexxus as a skeleton and all the creepy visuals. Also, his diabolic laugh near the end didn't help."


    12. The rhino cloud, James and the Giant Peach (1996)

    Buena Vista Pictures

    "The rhino storm cloud freaked me out as a kid and its entire reason for being is incredibly dark if you think about it."


    13. The forest scene, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    Walt Disney Studios

    "I hated the entire movie when I was a kid, but that scene in particular sealed it for me. There's a hunter threatening to cut her heart out, then she gets sent into a terrifying forest??? I will never watch that movie again."


    14. Coral's death, Finding Nemo (2003)


    "Coral and Albert are just playing around, talking about how they first met and then — out of nowhere — a big fish comes and Coral gets killed. Marlin's just screaming, 'CORAL! CORAL! CORAL!' but she's DEAD and their kids are DEAD. Then, he finds one single egg that remains in tact and he promises to always be there for that one egg. I'm sorry, but this is TERRIFYING."


    15. The Land of the Dead, Coco (2017)


    "There's a quick moment when Miguel reaches the Land of the Dead and there’s a family with two children. I didn’t think much of it when I first saw it, but when I saw it again, I couldn’t help but get really sad seeing a whole family with small children getting ready to visit the living? It's so sad."


    16. The first five minutes, The Secret Garden (1987)

    Rosemont Productions

    "Okay, so does anyone remember this one? Specifically, the first five minutes, when everyone is dying of cholera (including her parents). It’s graphic and creepy and there's one line where the main character is just complaining about how her maid is DEAD and can’t cook her breakfast?! I just showed this to my fiancé, and he was so concerned that I saw it as a young child."


    17. And finally, the boat scene (of course), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

    Paramount Pictures

    "This scene is the most obvious dark moment, but that entire movie is fucked up, TBH. The Oompa Loompas have a perfectly-correlated song to sing at every child’s demise?! Not buying it was an accident."


    Now it's your turn! What scene in a kids movie came out of absolutely nowhere to traumatize you?! Share yours in the comments below for a chance to be featured in an upcoming BuzzFeed Community post and/or video!

    Some entries have been edited for length and/or clarity.